One thing we are really proud of at Silicon Straits Saigon is the TEAM. We found, very much early, a way to filter for the best-fit developers, that’s our Hiring Challenges. It was our “lucky” secret!

Until today the challenge has been around for almost 2 years and here is what we’ve got so far.

SSS Hiring Challenges

Why this is extremely valuable for us?

With this Hiring Challenge, we have one of best methods to filter out suitable candidates. The Challenge was never meant to be a technical obstacle for those who are ready to solve it, however, it would be a big roadblock for those who don’t fit in our culture.

It also saves a lot of time and effort for interviews. At close to 40% offer rate, that means those who came to the interview are highly suitable for the jobs. Compare with other company where the rate is very low at 5%-10%, and a lot of interviewing need to be done to fill sizeable team.

In addition to that, the challenge helps us sending out a message about ourselves, about who we are looking for to join the team, about what type our work we are doing. Despite being just a simple landing page with minimal text, it conveys more than a regular 2-page job posting.

Why our Hiring Challenge is a great Filter?

SSS Hiring Do Dont

We look for developers with problem-solving mindset and the challenge is a real problem need to be solved. It is not a tough one technically, but requires some persistence. That is a lot like the work we do day to day at SSS. We also believe that all the answers can be found through a little bit of research, but you need the right mindset to approach the problem correctly.

To be honest, at the beginning we just wanted something to test candidates before the interview (as suggested by modern recruitment best practices). Only until we actually interviewed the first few that passed the test; we found instant “click” with majority of those coming in. Then we know: the test worked!

Later on, we truly came to believe the challenge brought us the right candidates for the work we are doing. By just looking at the test results, it tells a lot about the candidates like how long does it take for him/her to complete, how many attempts, etc … We also ask the candidate to answer some personal questions, which also help sharing many things about him/her including personal taste in programming languages.

SSS Hiring Profile


And looking at the team now, most of us are not “normal”. We are weird in our own ways, and that “weirdness” help us a lot to build a strong team and develop those wonderful products for our clients and for ourselves.

Have we been hacked before?

Yes possible, we have been “spammed”. If someone wants to hack, yes it’s possible too. But we can just take it down and re-deploy again. And of course the hacker won’t receive any call from us. We are looking for Developer, not Hacker even though we call ourselves Pirates.

We know a couple of people posting around the web asking for help on StackOverflow, IT forums,… Some even asked friends to do it for them. But we can tell and if we can’t, you won’t make it through the interviews.

Now it’s time for an upgrade

We are making an upgrade the Challenge and adding a bit more fun into the process. Especially now that we have better understanding how this could help us growing our team to the next level.

If you have not given it a try, go on and call API, we’ll call you back.

SSS Full-stack Engineer

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Published by Bui Hai An

Co-Founder and Digital Technologist @ Silicon Straits Saigon.